For Immediate Release - March 02, 2011

AG Coakley to Visit Abandoned Property Being Rehabilitated in Worcester

Former Foreclosed Abandoned Property is Being Rehabilitated under Attorney General's Abandoned Housing Initiative

WORCESTER - Attorney General Martha Coakley will visit a property that is in the process of being rehabilitated under the Attorney General's Abandoned Housing Initiative. The property is one of nine initial properties in Worcester that is being targeted for rehabilitation through a partnership with the City of Worcester and the Attorney General's Abandoned Housing Initiative.

In September 2010, the City of Worcester identified a number of problem properties that they were interested in targeting for receivership, and 4-6 Suffield Street was identified as a top priority. Worcester Inspectional Services first inspected the property in 2007, finding the property vacant and unfit for habitation under the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code. In December 2010, the property was official foreclosed on and went up for auction in direct response to a demand letter sent by the AG's Office in September 2010. The property was purchased and the new owner, Juana Telles, has worked with the AG's Abandoned Housing Initiative to implement a plan of rehabilitation for the property, which has just begun.

During the visit, AG Coakley will view the current condition of the property and observe the beginning of the rehabilitation process. Juana Telles, the current owner, will guide the tour of the property and will discuss the process she has gone through thus far.

Abandoned properties impact communities in many ways. They are often public safety threats and the blighted properties degrade property values of neighboring homes. These properties are also a tax burden for towns as the communities no longer receive tax revenue for the properties.

In the last few years, AG Coakley's Office has seen an uptick in reports of abandoned properties. In 2009, the Attorney General's Office expanded the Abandoned Housing Initiative and currently has 104 active abandoned properties in the program. Since the program expansion, two receiverships have been completed and 26 cases have been closed after properties were repaired and brought up to code by the owners in response to pressure from the AG's Office. In addition to Worcester, the AG's office currently has pending and active cases in 23 communities in the Commonwealth, including Randolph, New Bedford, Holyoke, Lawrence, Saugus, Revere, Brockton, Pittsfield and Fall River.

Thursday March 3, 2011
1:00 p.m.

4-6 Suffield Street
Worcester, MA

Attorney General Martha Coakley